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Star Party Information

Weather Permitting (ie must be able to see the stars) When coming to a Star Party you should dress warm. It does get cold at night, even in the summer. Bring a red flashlight. If you don’t have a red flashlight, the observatory can cover the lens of a flashlight with a red covering. This is to protect everyone’s night vision. The observatory also has hand & toe warmers, a covered building, and hot drinks will be available. The observatory does not charge for these Star Parties but does accept donations. The party starts at Astronomical Twilight, which is when the Sun is approximately 18 degrees below the horizon (about one hour after sunset).


After learning how to locate the North Star, a tour of the night sky begins, pointing out constellations, planets, asterisms, and where some astronomical objects are located. After the tour, there will be telescopes set up for viewing astronomical objects. If you have a telescope and would like to participate, come early to set up. Handouts with pictures of some of the objects that can be seen the night of the Star Party are available (free) as a memento. This handout has a place where the astronomer fills out telescope information and their name. You can then show your friends what you saw at the star party. This event can also be done at your location.

*Please Note the Following*


1. When coming out to the Cottontail Observatory be sure to bring a coat.  It does get a little cool in the evening, even in Summer.


2. All events are weather dependent, if you can't see the stars the Telescope can't either.

3. These events are free, but we do accept donations.

4. Most events take place at the Cottontail Observatory. View our events calendar for more details about upcoming astronomical events, public nights, astronomy meetings, and more.

  • August 12, 2023 will be at the County Fairground in Twin Bridges, MT.

  • Mining City Astronomers Meetings are at the Butte-Silver Bow Public Library, 226 W Broadway St, Butte, MT 59701 

Fill out the form below to book your Starwatch Experience.

Starwatch Request

Please describe the type of presentation you are interested in.

Thanks for submitting!

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